Plant Category: Ornamental Grass

Fountain Grass

Genus: Pennisetum

This ornamental grass grows in clumps with delicate feathery fronds that pick up the light. The seed heads are a creamy rose color. Fountain grass makes a nice accent but does need to be periodically cut back when overgrown or top-heavy. Works well in a range of garden designs including simple modern plantscapes. The grass will self sow and clumps can be divided.

Gray Sedge

Genus: Carex Divulsa

This loosely clumping ornamental grass does well in a variety of circumstances. The grass is nearly evergreen. It can be planted in sun or shade and the plants can tolerate varied soil conditions. The grass grows quickly and can take some foot traffic. Gray sedge is very similar to Berkeley sedge (carex tumulicola). The grass can be mowed but it works best as a lawn replacement that is not mowed. The clumps grow to a height of about 12″. The flowers produced are not particularly notable.

Mondo Grass

Genus: Opihiopogon Japonicus

This ground cover is actually a lily. Variations in leaf color include solid or variegated leaves. Black mondo grass is known for its dark purple leaves. Mondo grass grows in clumps and is effective as a border, use in between stone pavers and as a lawn replacement in applications where there is no significant traffic. Some dwarf varieties are only a couple of inches tall while other varieties grow to six or more inches. While grown primarily for foliage, some varieties have delicate flowers and berries.